Living in the Telling

Indigenous Storytelling of Post–COVID Desires for Academia




Indigenous, storytelling, storying, storywork, poetry, sensory ethnography


Stories provide listeners or readers a doorway to understand the storyteller’s context and live in the telling. We, as Māori Indigenous scholars (doctoral students, researchers, and academics), bring together our stories, in the forms of creative nonfiction and poetry located in Aotearoa New Zealand and Te Whenua Moemoeā Australia, to tell the ways we navigate colonial spaces while also imagining our desired future. Centring Indigenous storytelling methods and sensory ethnography, we bring together the interrelatedness that situates our stories across time and place. The next wave of Indigenous researchers will be stepping into these spaces that we now walk, so it is timely and crucial that we find creative ways to provide clearer direction for them. We tell our stories in this paper as an act of hope that our stories might spark a fire in the reader’s heart to also tell theirs.

Author Biographies

Hine Funaki-Cole, Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Hine Funaki-Cole (ia/she/her): Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāi Tahu, Tongan. Research fellow, Sociology. Research interests: Indigenous storytelling of place, space, sociological hauntings, identity, and belonging.

Liana MacDonald, Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Liana MacDonald (ia/she/her): Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne o Wairau.
Senior lecturer, Sociology. Research interests: How Māori and other Indigenous groups are positioned in colonised countries and resist colonial oppression.

Johanna Knox, Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington

Johanna Knox (ia/she/her): Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Ranginui, Pākehā. Doctoral student in creative writing. Research interests: Journeys of whakapapa reconnection; haunted archives; interfaces between Mātauranga Māori and Western science, particularly physics; and the ways that creative nonfiction opens up generative spaces in which to explore these ideas from a personal perspective.


Daniel McKinnon, Queensland University

Daniel McKinnon (ia/he/him): Ngāti Rangitihi, Puketapu. PhD candidate; Secondary teacher. Research interests: Māori educational sovereignty, publicness and public responsibilities, Māori literacies and other ways of “reading” and seeing.



How to Cite

Funaki-Cole, H., MacDonald, L., Knox, J., & McKinnon, D. (2024). Living in the Telling: Indigenous Storytelling of Post–COVID Desires for Academia. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 8(2), 499–518.